SAN LEANDRO -- A tax assessing $39 per percent for city schools has a good chance of according to a survey presented to the school board on Tuesday.
The school district is considering putting a levy on the November ballot. While the board has not decided on a dollar amount for a tax, a survey of voters showed that more than two-thirds would likely approve the $39 per parcel amount.
The board is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on whether to bring a parcel tax to voters. Tuesday would be the last chance the board has to make the deadline for the November election.
The survey of 401 likely voters found that 74 percent would support the $39 tax, representatives of Godbe Research and the Lew Edwards Group told the board. The proposal would need two-thirds majority, or just over 66 percent, to pass.
Retired San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis urged board members to go forward with the tax plan.
"Voters deserve at least an opportunity to say they'll support the schools," he said. "You can't have a first-class city without first-class schools."
The district has had to make cuts the past five years as the state has reduced funding to San Leandro schools by more than $12 million. Catherine Lew, a consultant with the Lew Edwards Group, told the board that throughout California, many voters are reacting to the state cuts by supporting their local schools. "There is a strong anti-Sacramento sentiment," she said.
If voters pass
The tax would be in effect for five years, with a voluntary exemption for seniors.
"The teachers are committed to making this a success," said Jon Sherr, president of the San Leandro Teachers Association.
To get on the ballot, the district must submit a proposal by Aug. 8. Superintendent Cindy Cathey asked the board to not take a vote until after she meets with a citizens group that has been working with the district on a parcel tax plan.
The San Leandro school district's last parcel tax measure six years ago failed. While 61 percent of voters supported the tax, it fell short of the two-thirds threshold.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at San Leandro City Hall, 835 E. 14th St.